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      From Panopticon to POV-opticon: Drive to Visibility and Games of Truth.


      Politics of the Machine Beirut 2019 (POM2019)

      Politics of the Machine

      11-14 June 2019

      Panopticon, POV-opticon, games of truth, regime of truth, Algorithmic Facial Image (AFI)



            The paper proposes a theoretical framework to understand the emergency of the post-truth era in the specific realm of Internet visual culture, and analyses the aesthetic and technological conditions that allow a new form of post-truth to emerge. The paper argues that Internet post-truth could be addressed as the jeu de la vérité (game of truth) emerging from the transformation of the Panopticon – the form of visual governamentality of modernity – into the POV-opticon. The POV-opticon is a regime of visibility outlined by the explosion of POV (Point of view) technologies of vision – mobile phones, VR and AR technologies – which are transforming POV from a cinematic aesthetic and technical format into one of the most controversial political-aesthetic battlefields of our time. The capability of cinematic POV to produce the seamless overlapping between body and technology is re-invented in relation to new technological devices that re-defines human and machinic agency within new regimes of visibility and new games of truth. The paper tries to understand the POV-opticon by looking at the development of a new type of selfie aesthetic and of a new imagery coming out of the ongoing machinization of the face operated by facial recognition technologies – what I’ve tried to define elsewhere as the Algorithmic Facial Image (AFI). Especially by defining POV-opticon and AFI, the paper expands the notion of regime of visibility proposed by Dutch art critic Camel van Winkel, and relates it to the notion of games of truth elaborated by Michel Foucault. If, according to Winkel, the regime of visibility is more about the drive to make visible rather than the visible itself, the drive presents a peculiar relation with truthfulness which seems to fit well with the games of truth generated by the POV-opticon. Games of truth is Foucault’s attempt to rethinking the concept of regime of truth defining the Panopticon, in relation to distributed forms of governamentality and emerging forms of subjectivity. The paper argues that POV-opticon provides the technological strata for explaining post-truth as the hermeneutical reality emerging from the proliferation of POV games of truth. POV games of truth are assembled into new POV micro-regime of truth algorithmically generated by the extraction of data from the subject and by the creation of a POV data double that works as the algorithmic answer to the drive to visibility and offers a solution to the ambiguities of the games of truth.


            Author and article information

            June 2019
            June 2019
            : 114-118
            [0001]Aarhus University

            Helsingforsgade 14, 8200 Aarhus N,

            © Azar. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of POM Beirut 2019

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Politics of the Machine Beirut 2019
            Beirut, Lebanon
            11-14 June 2019
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Politics of the Machine
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing


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